Research & Innovation - Participant Portal

Water Innovation: Boosting its value for Europe

Opening Date 10-12-2014 Deadline Date 21-04-2015 17:00:00 (Brussels local time)
Publication date 11-12-2013 Total Call Budget €75,000,000
Stage 2 08-09-2015 17:00:00 (Brussels local time)
Programme Horizon 2020
Status Closed Main Pillar Societal Challenges
OJ reference OJ C 361 of 11.12.2013

Topic: Integrated approaches to food security, low-carbon energy, sustainable water management and climate change mitigation: WATER-2b-2015

Specific challenge: The rising demands of a growing world population for food, water, materials and energy will put increasing pressures on land use, water resources and ecosystems. Increased energy use leads to increased demands for cooling water for thermal power plants. Climate mitigation options such as biomass production for energy (biofuels) might also lead to increased land and water demands. Increased food and feed demand will put increasing pressures on land (e.g. deforestation leading to more greenhouse gas emission) and water resources. Such pressures will be compounded by the impacts of climate change which are likely to further modify the availability and suitability of these resources as well as affect agricultural productivity.

Tools to help explore options for low-carbon pathways, such as climate-energy models, currently lack a comprehensive integration of land-use and water systems, leading to an incomplete picture of the interactions between competing demands and the future viability and costs of adaptation and mitigation options as well as the environmental protection and agricultural challenges.

Despite considerable progress over the past ten years, the forecasting of natural water cycle variability and extreme weather events in the short and medium term still suffers from severe limitations. Improved understanding of the impacts of climate change on the hydrological cycle is necessary in order to better inform decision makers and ensure sustainable water supply and management of water systems, and quality of water bodies, in the EU.

Scope: Proposals shall address the following issues.

Integrated approaches to food security, low-carbon energy, sustainable water management and climate change mitigation:

Proposals should aim to:

  • develop tools and methodologies for integrating agriculture, forestry, climate change impacts and adaptation with climate-energy-economic models and land-use models, using a multi-disciplinary approach; 
  • consider the potential role, contributions and limitations of low-carbon options with respect to land and water resources;
  • develop a better scientific understanding of the land-water-energy-climate nexus;
  • develop integrated strategies and approaches, at different spatial scales (regional, national, continental, global), integrating resource efficient land use, agricultural productivity improvements, sustainable water management and low carbon energy transition and analysing interactions with the existing regulatory frameworks in these areas and the potential barriers to implementation.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 6 and 8 million (or more) would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected impact:

Increased understanding of how water management, food and biodiversity policies are linked together and to climate and sustainability goals. Reduction of the uncertainties about the opportunities and limitations of low-carbon options, such as bioenergy technologies and resource efficiency measures, in view of relevant near-term policy initiatives. Contribution to future assessments, including those of the IPCC, with multidisciplinary and integrated tools.

Type of action: Research and innovation actions


Please read carefully all provisions below before the preparation of your application.

  1. List of countries and applicable rules for funding: described in part A of the General Annexes of the General Work Programme.
  2. Eligibility and admissibility conditions: described in part B and C of the General Annexes of the General Work Programme 
  3. Evaluation

    3.1  Evaluation criteria and procedure, scoring and threshold: described in part H of the General Annexes of the General Work Programme

    3.2 Guide to the submission and evaluation process
  4. Proposal page limits and layout: Please refer to Part B of the standard proposal template.
  5. Indicative timetable for evaluation and grant agreement:
    Information on the outcome of one-stage evaluation: maximum 5 months from the final date for submission.
    Signature of grant agreements: maximum 3 months from the date of informing successful applicants.

    Information on the outcome of two-stage evaluation: maximum 5 months from the final date for submission.
    Signature of grant agreements: maximum 3 months from the date of informing successful applicants.
  6. Provisions, proposal templates and evaluation forms for the type(s) of action(s) under this topic:

    Research and Innovation Action:

    Specific provisions and funding rates
    Standard proposal template
    Standard evaluation form
    Annotated Model Grant Agreement
  7. Additional provisions:

    Horizon 2020 budget flexibility

    Classified information

    Technology readiness levels (TRL) – where a topic description refers to TRL, these definitions apply.

    Financial support to Third Parties – where a topic description foresees financial support to Third Parties, these provisions apply.

  8. Open access must be granted to all scientific publications resulting from Horizon 2020 actions, and proposals must refer to measures envisaged. Where relevant, proposals should also provide information on how the participants will manage the research data generated and/or collected during the project, such as details on what types of data the project will generate, whether and how this data will be exploited or made accessible for verification and re-use, and how it will be curated and preserved.


Additional documents

You can download the same documents as one zip file from the call page

  • Legal basis - Specific Programme H2020 en
  • WP H2020 - 1. Introduction en
  • WP H2020 - 12. Climate action, environment, resource efficiency and raw materials en
  • Legal basis - Framework Programme H2020 en
  • Legal basis - Rules for Participation en
  • WP H2020 - 19. General Annexes en
  • flash call info en

No submission system is open for this topic.